Family Card - Person Sheet
Family Card - Person Sheet

NameElizabeth FIRMIN 157
Birth Date27 Apr 1615
Birth PlaceNayland, Suffolk, England
Death Date16 Jun 1706
Death PlaceWatertown, Massachusetts
Immigr Date1630
FlagsImmigrant, Winthrop Fleet
FatherJohn FIRMIN (~1588-<1642)
Misc. Notes
The identity of Richard Beers’ wife as Elizabeth Firmin is not absolutely established, but it is suggested by Anderson157 who notes in his treatment of John Firmin (with square brackets in the original): “In the Boston Newsletter for 24 June 1706 is the notice of death in Watertown on 16 June of that year of ‘Mrs. Elizabeth Beers (widow of Capt. John [recte Richard] Beers...) in the 92 year of her age.... She came to New England in June 1630 being then sixteen year old, and lived in New England 76 years.’ This would be the right age for the Elizabeth who was baptized to John Firmin in Nayland, and her husband did acquire the estate of John Firmin. He acquired it, however, from a person who had purchased the land from the heirs of John Firmin, and we would have to assume that Richard Beers and his wife had been parties to the sale to Barnabas Fawer, and then had turned around and repurchased the land from him.”764
Immigr Dateby 1633
Will Date6 Aug 1675
Death Date4 Sep 1675
Death PlaceNorthfield, Massachusetts
Misc. Notes
Bond’s Watertown759 provides the following details on the life of Richard Beers: “Capt. RICHARD BEERS, an original proprietor, adm. freeman Mar. 16, 1636-7; selectman most of the time from 1644 to 1675; Representative 13 yrs., 1663-75; a captain in King Philip’s War, and slain in battle by the Indians at Northfield, Sept. 4, 1675. Wife ELIZABETH. He made a nuncupatory will, Aug. 6, proved Oct. 5, 1675 -- whole estate to go to his wife; but if she marry, 1/2 to go to dr. Sternes and other children. Wid. and son Eleazer admin. Inventory, £242. In the Probate Office of Middlesex, is an agreement, dated June, 1711, among the children and heirs of Capt. R. Beers, viz., Elnathan, Jabez, Richard, Sarah Wheeler; heirs of Mary Rice, d. viz. Joseph and Mary Rice; Judith Allen, Elizabeth and Samuel Ward, and David Stone. Oct. 1654, he was recommended to the Court by Hugh Mason, Thomas Hastings, Charles Chadwick, Henry Bright, and John Sherman, ‘to keep an ordinary.’ His license was renewed, and probably continued until his decease. It is the first notice of a public house in the town.” Bond later760 corrects this last observation: “CAPTAIN BEERS was not the first one authorized ‘to keep an ordinary.’ See G. Munnings and T. Wincoll, in Part II.”

Schultz and Tougias’ excellent volume King Philip’s War761 gives a detailed account of the battle, known as Beers’ Ambush, in which Richard Beers was killed. This battle took place 4 September 1675 on the east side of the Connecticut River south of Squakeag (now Northfield). Beers and his company were marching north from Hadley to the aid of Squakeag, which had come under attack two days before. As they descended into a ravine to cross a brook, they were attacked and many of Beers’s men were killed. Beers himself and some of the survivors retreated into another ravine about three-quarters of a mile to the south, but they were attacked again and Beers was killed. With respect to Beers’ gravesite Schultz and Tougias write:762 “A marker on the east side of Route 63 near the Community Bible Church designates the general area of Beers’ last stand. The site of Beers’ grave can be found at the base of the main building of the Linden Hill School near the intersection of South Mountain Road and Lyman Hill Road. A modern stone marker indicated the burial spot. Temple and Sheldon, writing in 1875, provide a glimpse as to how the site was altered before the present stone marker was set.

“‘The tradition which marks this as the spot where Capt. Beers was killed and buried, is of undoubted authenticity. The old men in each generation have told the same story, and identified the place. And the [p. 167] existence here from time immemorial of two stones -- like head and foot stones -- set at the proper distance apart, certainly marks the place of a grave; and the care to erect stones indicates the grave of more than a common soldier. The new house of Capt. Samuel Merriman, built about 50 years ago, was set directly across the ravine, which was made to answer for a cellar by filling in the space front and rear. Capt. Ira Coy informs the writer that, before anything was disturbed, he and Capt. M. dug into the grave. They found the well defined sides and bottom, where the spade had left the clay solid; and at the depth of about twenty inches (the shallowness indicating haste) was a layer of dark colored mold, some of it in small lumps, like decayed bones. The grave was then filled up, a large flat stone laid over it, and the hollow graded up.’763

Richard Beers’ ancestry is traced at: (details to be entered).
 Sarah (-1724)
 Mary (1643-1677)
 Elnathan (-1696)
 Judith (1646-)
 Jabez (1651-)
 Richard (1659-)
 Abigail (1662-1662)
Last Modified 20 Dec 1999Created 1 Dec 2017 using Reunion for Macintosh
New England genealogy files of Robert J. O’Hara, automatically output by Reunion for Macintosh. For additional genealogical data in other formats, including specialized lists of immigrant ancestors and notable kin, please visit my main genealogy page: For information about many of the localities mentioned here please visit